I Don’t Know About Elvis, But William R. Hearst Is Alive And Lives In Turkey.

Today Doğan Haber Ajansı (DHA), a local news agency run a story of heightened activity in Gölcük Naval Base and speculated that the navy was preparing itself for action off the Coast of Syria. The story was later picked up by UPI and published in English.

According to the original story of the DHA Turkish Navy has increased the speed of the preparations for a deployment in East Mediterranean. “A number of warships and submarines” were deployed to the Mediterranean Sea from military bases in the Turkish north. The article described the vessels as loaded with cargo labeled “war load”.The text was accompanied by a short video and some photos.

The journalist of DHA also made a short video across the naval base showing the alleged preparations.  I believe that this news of DHA is more or less useless, a piece of crap.

First of all the journalist were not able to observe the submarine berthing area inside the Gölcük Naval base from the point where they shot the video. Therefore the information about the submarines being loaded by war load is not true or is just an assumption. Otherwise they would show it in the video or among the photos.

Second all the photographic information DHA can offer to support its allegation that reinforcing its naval assets in the Mediterranean following a Syrian attack across the border, Consists of F-246 TCG Salihreis receiving some unidentified supplies at a finger pier. This photo I believe is the source of the DHA’s hyped story as indeed something being loaded to the frigate. The other evidence DHA supplies is a naval AB-212 ASW helicopter landing on the F-245 TCG Oruçreis. In fact the video shows the main area of Gölcük Naval Yard for a short period where a heightened activity was unnoticeable.

We should not forget that on Sunday 7th October 2012 a joint naval exercise between Turkey and Egypt will start. So some ships will participate in this exercise and they must get prepared for this deployment.  There is simply not enough evidence that the two frigates getting ready for the deployment will eventually will end up off the shores of Syria.

If William Randolph Hearst would be alive he would be very proud of the ultra nationalistic tone of the Turkish press and its Jingoism in the last couple days.


Turkish and Egyptian Navies Will Exercise In Eastern Mediterranean Next Week

Turkish Navy announced that Turkish and Egyptian navies are gong to conduct a joint exercise between 7th and 14th October 2012 in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Exercise Sea of Friendship (Bahr El Sadaka) will be hosted by Egypt. Following Turkish naval units will take part in the exercise: Two frigates, two fast attack craft, one replenishment tanker, two landing ship, one marine infantry company, two helicopters and one special forces team. There is no information about the participating units from Egyptian side.

The timing and the location of this exercise is very note worthy. But this exercise was usually held in autumn. The addition of two LST’s and one marine infantry company are also very interesting additions to this years order of battle.

Turkish Naval Forces Day

A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa

A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

The 27th September, the anniversary of the Battle of Preveza, is celebrated as the Turkish Naval Forces Day.of the Navy.

On 27th September 1538, a naval battle for the supremacy in the Mediterranean, was fought between the Ottoman Navy commandeered by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and the fleet of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III and commandeered by Andrea Doria.
With the victory at Preveza and the subsequent victory in the Battle of Djerba in 1560, the Ottoman Empire successfully repulsed the efforts of Venice and Spain, the two principal Mediterranean powers, to stop the Turkish drive to control the Mediterranean. This only changed with the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

According to marvelous book Empires of The Sea by the historian Roger Crowley, the importance of the Battle of Preveza lays in its psychological effects as the battle shattered the morale of the Christian Alliance that fought against the Ottoman Empire for the control of the Mediterranean.

The celebrate the 474th anniversary of this battle on 27th September, the MEKO 200 class frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım visited İstanbul and was opened to the public. As a bonus I was able to witness the south bound passage of the two training ships of Turkish Navy A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa. Both ships were on a training cruise wit h the cadets of the Naval Academy in the Black Sea.

The Last Voyage Of TCG Muavenet

The Knox class ex-Muavenet on her way to the scrapyard in Aliağa. She is towed by A-587 TCG Gazal. Photo: Turgay Köken, used with permission.

The bulk of the FF-1093 ex-USS Capodanno, F-250 ex-TCG Muavenet is on her way to the scrapyard in Aliağa, İzmir. This is her final voyage.

The Knox class frigates served a short service in Turkish Navy compared to older Gearing class destroyers and newer Perry class frigates. F-250 TCG Muavenet was the first ever Knox class ship given by the US Navy to the Turkish Navy. She was given as a compensation to the old DM-357 TCG Muavenet, which was severely damaged by two Sea Sparrow anti aircraft missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga in 1992.

The hull of ex-TCG Muavenet. Photo: Turgay Köken, used with permission.


Turkey Will Command CTF-151 For The Fourth Time

Turkish Navy announced that it will take the helm of Combined Task Force-151 between 19 September and 13 December 2012. The Turkish frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik will act as the flagship.

There will be a hand-over ceremony on board of the current DDH-978 ROKS Wang Geon on 19th September 2012 in Manama, Bahrain.

Previously Turkish Navy led the CTF-151:

  • May – August 2009
  • September – December 2010
  • September – December 2011

The Commander Of PLAN Ended His Visit To Turkey

Amirals Wu Shengli and Bilgel. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

It is a little bit old but I think it is too important not to write about it.

Wu Shengli, member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and commander of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), returned to Beijing on the afternoon of October 10, 2012 after his successful official goodwill visit to the Republic of Turkey.

During his visit to Turkey, Wu Shengli called on Ismet Yilmaz, Turkish minister of national defense, and visited such Turkish military organizations as surface ship and submarine units, marine brigade, naval aviation force and the Turkish Naval Officer Academy.

Adm. Emin Murat Bilgel, commander of the Turkish Navy, held a welcome ceremony for Wu Shengli and held talks with Wu Shengli. Bilgel extended his warm welcome to Wu Shengli for his visit to Turkey and hoped to take the visit as an opportunity to further promote exchanges and cooperation between the two navies.

What they have talked about is up to speculations.

On Board Of F-511 TCG Heybeliada

On 30th August 2012 for the Victory Day celebrations two warships F-245 TCG  Oruçreis and F-511 TCG Heybeliada made a port visit in Istanbul. Both ships were open to the public and I had the opportunity and privilege to visit the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes, TCG Heybeliada.

The visitors were not allowed to take photos on board thus I have no photo from the interior of the ship.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes

F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes

F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes

From left to right: RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher, ASELFlir 300, 12.7 mm Aselsan STAMP Stabilized Machine Gun Platform, Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defense launcher.

From left to right: RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher, ASELFlir 300, 12.7 mm Aselsan STAMP Stabilized Machine Gun Platform, Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defense launcher. Two laser warning receivers are also visible.

From left to right: Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defense launcher and the panel that hides the RGM-84 Harpoon missiles.

SMART-S Mk2 3D radar and ARES-2N EW antennas

The bridge and the STING EO Mk2.

Oto Melera 76mm gun in a stealth housing.

AselFLIR 300, optical director

Sea Sentor ship torpedo defense launcher and one laser warning receiver

Turkish Warship Protects Aid Ship

M/V Dadalı escorted by F-492 TCG Gemlik. Photo: Turkish General Staff.

Two warships of Turkish Navy escorted the merchant ship M/V Dadalı during her voyage to Mogadishu.

M/V Dadalı chartered by Turkish Red Crescent was carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia. According to the photo published by Turkish General Staff most of visible cargo on board of the merchant ship consists of various types of trucks.

During the first part of the 3030 miles and 19 says long trip from Mersin, Turkey to Alexandria Egypt, the merchant ship was escorted by the corvette F-500 TCG Bozcada. The Gabya class frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik took over the escort duty in the Red Sea to the final destination of M/V Dadalı in Mogadishu, Somalia.


The BlackSeaFor Task Force Sailed Into The The Black Sea.

Turkish Milgem class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The flagship of the BlackSeaFor task force.

The Bulgarian minesweeper 62 BGS Shkval

The Russian large landing ship 142 RFS Novocherkassk

The Romanian Tetal 2 class corvette 265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu

The Ukrainian command ship U-510 Slavutich

Yesterday, after the command handover ceremony in Gölcük Naval Base, the 5 ships participating to this activation of the BlackSeaFor sailed away to their next port of call Trabzon, Istanbul. In order to this they had to pass through Bosphorus, where I was expecting them, as you can see from the photos above.

The August Activation Of The BlackSeaFor

F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The new flagship of the BlackSeaFor.

The August activation of BlackSeaFor will start today with a ceremony in Gölcük Naval Base, Izmit, Turkey.

The Russian Navy will hand over the command of the BlackSeaFor to Turkey. The activation of the BlackSeaFor will end on 24th August. During that time the task force will conduct several exercises and will visit Trabzon, Turkey and Novorossiysk, Russia.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada (Flagship) Turkey Corvette
U-510 UPS Slavutich Ukraine Command Ship
141 RFS Novocherkassk Russia Large Landing Ship
F-265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Romania  Corvette
62 BGS Shkval Bulgaria Minesweeper

I was not able to identify the participating unit from Bulgaria and Romania. Any information regarding this ship these ships is welcome. Thanks to Mr. Mommsen from the excellent German maritime magazine Marineforum, I have all the information I needed about the participating ships.

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